185 jobs to be affected by layoffs at Ford’s Oakville assembly plant

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Premier Ford announces $40M for Ontario auto sector plan
WATCH ABOVE: Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced a plan to invest $40M over the next three years into the auto sector. Travis Dhanraj reports. (Feb. 14) – Feb 14, 2019

Ford Motor Company has confirmed that 185 people will be affected by layoffs at the company’s Oakville assembly plant.

In a statement to Global News, a spokesperson for Ford Motor Company said the layoffs will begin in September.

“We have a long-standing practice of matching production with consumer demand. As a result, we are making changes to the operating pattern at [the Oakville plant],” Kelli Felker wrote.

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“We are changing from tag relief to mass relief in final assembly, which means the line will now stop during breaks. We are also eliminating one shift in paint, bringing that area of the plant to two shifts.”

According to Ford’s website, approximately 4,600 people are employed at the Oakville plant. The 487-acre plant, located south of Highway 403 and the Queen Elizabeth Way, first opened in 1953 and the Ford Edge, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKX and Lincoln MKT are made at the facility.

A spokesperson for Ontario economic development minister Vic Fedeli said the provincial government is “disappointed” to hear about the layoff notices, and is pledging to offer assistance.

“We want the employees in Oakville to know that our government stands with them and their families. We will work with our partners to continue to fight for good jobs in Oakville and support the affected families,” Robert Gibson told Global News in a statement.

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“The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has been in contact with Ford, offering support to the affected workers. Ford informed the Ministry they have made arrangements to provide support and do not require any additional help from Employment Ontario.”

The Ontario government announced it would spend $40 million over three years to help auto manufacturers in Ontario with innovation and training.

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Andrea Horwath, leader of the Ontario NDP, issued a statement in response to the layoffs and accused the provincial government of “inaction.”

“Ontario needs an effective auto strategy now to make sure that this industry grows and thrives into the future. New Democrats have been pushing for an auto strategy for a long time because being the auto manufacturing hub of the future won’t happen by accident,” she wrote.

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“It’s time that Doug Ford stopped ignoring that need. These are real people who depend on these jobs to support their families.”

News of the layoffs comes as the automaker recently announced cut jobs in other parts of the world.

The company announced last month it will slash 12,000 jobs in Europe, about a fifth of its workforce in the continent. Ford officials said that the positions would be eliminated mostly through voluntary agreements through the end of 2020.

In May, the automaker said it would be cutting 7,000 white-collared jobs — representing about 10 per cent of its global workforce.

— With files from The Associated Press

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